Looked After Children (LAC) Policy
CONNELL CO-OP COLLEGE
LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN POLICY
1.1 The Trust is dedicated to providing a positive, varied and enriched educational experience for all Looked After Children and strives to ensure a high level of progress and achievement from our Looked After Child cohort.
1.2 Looked After Children are one of the most vulnerable groups in society and it is nationally recognised that Care Experienced young people have lower educational attainments than their peers. For example, they may experience:
• A high level of disruption and change in school placement.
• A high level of disruption in home life.
• Less opportunity to access extra-curricular activities and experiences.
• Childhood trauma which impacts their emotional wellbeing.
1.3 The above may result in:
• Poor examination success rates in comparison with the general population.
• Poor attendance rates in comparison with the general population.
• Underachievement in further and higher education, employment or training.
• A need for additional wellbeing support.
2.1 To promote and support the educational achievement and welfare of Looked After Children.
2.2 To ensure all staff are informed of the specific needs of Looked After Children.
2.3 To ensure equality of opportunity.
2.4 To achieve continuity and stability.
2.5 To involve Looked After Children in their education.
2.6 To support Looked After Children into appropriate further education, employment or training.
3. Definition of Looked After Children
3.1 Under the Children Act 1989, a child is looked after by the local authority if he, or she, is in their care or provided with accommodation for more than twenty-four hours by the Local Authority. They fall into four main groups:
3.1.1 Children who are accommodated under a voluntary agreement with their parents.
3.1.2 Children who are the subjects of a legal care order, or interim care order.
3.1.3 Children who are the subjects of emergency orders for their protection.
3.1.4 Children who are compulsorily accommodated – this includes children remanded to the Local Authority or subject to a criminal justice supervision order with a residence requirement.
3.2 The term ‘in care’ refers only to children who are subject to a legal care order by the courts under Section 31 of the Children Act 1989. They may live with foster carers, in a Children’s Home, in a residential school, with relatives or with parents under supervision.
3.3 Children who are cared for on a voluntary basis are ‘accommodated’ by the Local Authority under Section 20 of the Children Act 1989. They may live in foster care, in a Children’s Home or in a residential school. All these groups are said to be ‘Looked After Children’.
4. Entitlement of Looked After Children
4.1 All Looked After Children pupils/students will be entitled to:
4.1.1 A Designated Teacher and pastoral support.
4.1.2 Priority entry to extra-curricular clubs and activities.
4.1.3 Priority access to careers advice.
4.1.4 Priority pLooked After Childrenes on educational school trips and visits (N.B. not holidays.)
5. Responsibilities of the Designated Teacher for Looked After Children
5.1 In all academies, a Designated Teacher for Looked After Children will be named. The roles and responsibilities of the Designated Teacher are to:
5.1.1 Cultivate and maintain a culture of high aspiration for Looked After Children.
5.1.2 Be an advocate for Looked After Children within the Academy.
5.1.3 Ensure that each Looked After Child has a known and preferred member of staff that they can talk to.
5.1.4 Know who all the Looked After Children in the Academy are, including those in the care of other authorities. Records / PEPs should be kept in accordance with Safeguarding procedures.
5.1.5 Attend relevant training about meeting the needs of Looked After Children.
5.1.6 Act as the key liaison professional for other agencies and carers in relation to Looked After Children.
5.1.7 Ensure that Looked After Children receives a positive welcome on entering the Academy.
5.1.8 Track and monitor Looked After Children achievement, progress and attendance.
5.1.9 Keep PEPs and other records up-to-date.
5.1.10 All Pupil information should be kept in accordance with the Academy Safeguarding Procedures.
5.1.11 Convene a multi-agency meeting if a Looked After Child is experiencing difficulties, or is at risk of exclusion.
5.1.12 Actively encourage and promote out of hours learning and extra-curricular activities for Looked After Children.
5.1.13 Ensure a speedy transfer of information, records and coursework, where appropriate, when a Looked After Child transfers to another educational placement.
5.1.14 Contribute information to Looked After Child reviews, when required.
5.1.15 Report, at least annually, to the Governing body on Looked After Children in the school and inform relevant policy and practice development.
5.1.16 To offer all staff advice and strategies to effectively meet the needs of all Looked After Children and ensure high levels of achievement and attendance.
5.1.17 Ensure Looked After Children are a priority for appropriate and quality one-to-one support, if required.
6. Responsibilities of All Staff
6.1 As with all pupils/students, have high aspirations and celebrate the educational and personal achievement of Looked After Children.
6.2 Be familiar with guidance on the education of Looked After Children and respond appropriately to requests for information to support the completion of PEPs and other documentation needed as part of review meetings.
6.3 Liaise with the Designated Teacher when a Looked After Child is experiencing difficulty.
6.4 Heads of Subject / Heads of Department should:
• Track Looked After Children as key cohort.
• Prioritise Looked After Children for intervention and support.
• Keep the Designated Teacher informed on Looked After Children progress.
6.5 Heads of Year / Senior Leaders and dedicated pastoral support staff should:
• Provide additional support for Looked After Children, where needed.
• Keep the Designated Teacher informed of any pastoral concerns affecting the welfare, achievement and attendance of the Looked After Children.
7. Responsibilities of the Governing Bodies
7.1 Ensure that the admission criteria and practice prioritises Looked After Children according to the latest Admissions Code of Conduct.
7.2 Ensure all governors are fully aware of the legal requirements and guidance for Looked After Children.
7.3 Ensure there is a named, Designated Teacher for Looked After Children who is allocated time to fulfil their role with Looked After Children.
7.4 Ensure that the Designated Teacher is a member of teaching staff with appropriate seniority, professional experience and status.
7.5 Nominate a governor with responsibility for Looked After Children who liaises with the Designated Teacher.
7.6 Receive regular reports from the Designated Teacher.
7.7 Ensure that the Academy’s policies and procedures give Looked After Children equal access in respect of:
• Public examinations.
• Out of school learning and extra-curricular activities.
• Work experience and careers guidance.
7.8 Ensure the Designated Teacher undertakes relevant training.
7.9 Review the effective implementation of this policy, preferably annually, and at least every three years.
8. Admission Arrangements
8.1 Each academy will ensure Looked After Children are prioritised in the school’s over-subscription criteria.
8.2 On admission, records will be requested from the Looked After Child’s previous school.
8.3 An appropriate school induction will take place.
9.1 The Principal, Designated Teacher and Professional Development Co-ordinator will be responsible for ensuring all staff are briefed on the latest regulations and practices outlined in good practice and national guidelines documentation.
- The Designated Teacher for Looked After Children – Statutory guidance on their roles and responsibilities. DfE June 2014
- Promoting the Educational Achievement of Looked After Children – Statutory guidance for local authorities, virtual school heads, social workers and Independent Reviewing Officers. DfE March 2014.
- Guidance documents on Manchester City Council website. (www.manchester.gov.uk)
Emma Soper / Rosie Pate
Mrs Christine Butterfield.
All policies are available to stakeholders either on the College website or upon request from the College Office.